Vin Scully’s work motivated many in the Angels organization

Vin Scully has always been more than just the voice of Dodgers Baseball. He was an icon, a friend, a legend, a mentor, a kind face who treated everyone he met with respect, humility and kindness. He was more than words could properly express. You only had to meet him, or maybe just listen to him on game day, to feel the Vin Scully effect.

Scully died Tuesday at the age of 94. The news shook the Dodgers organization and baseball as a whole. On Wednesday, teams from around the majors, including the Angels in Anaheim, paid their respects to the beloved broadcaster.

For many, Scully was the introduction to the sport. For others, he was the inspiration for their careers. For some, he was both. And that impact went beyond baseball.

Patrick O’Neal — who is serving as a play-by-play broadcaster for Angels in his first season, in his ninth season overall with the Angels — grew up listening to Scully Call Games.

“That’s how I fell in love with the game of baseball, and Vin Scully is really the reason I wanted to be a broadcaster,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal, who had previously worked as a Dodgers reporter and broadcaster for nine years, first met Scully in 2005.

“He touched us all so much,” O’Neal said. “He impacted everyone’s life here in Southern California. It’s the greatest broadcaster of all time. Not just baseball. He was the friendliest person. He would meet you for the first time and never forget your name.”

Matt Vasgersian recalled first meeting Scully as a fan. Vasgersian, who is also now an Angels broadcaster and a national MLB Network broadcaster, won a competition while at USC where he competed with Al Downing in 1989 half an inning of a Dodgers game on a tape recorder. That day he met Scully.

About 10 years later, Vasgersian recalled calling and hearing a Brewers-Dodgers game at Dodger Stadium — Vasgersian called games for the Brewers, the first team he worked for in his freshman season as a major league broadcaster as Scully called the same games as him from the booth right next to his.

“It just felt so poignant to me at the time, like I had no business here,” Vasgersian said. “Actually, I’m announcing the same event that Vin Scully is announcing.

“It was never about him,” Vasgersian recalled of Scully’s personality. “He was the best, he knew he was the best. … He never needed to remind anyone who he was or how great he was.”

Scully’s impact extended far beyond the cabin. Coaches and players in the league also wanted to get to know and meet him.

Angels interim manager Phil Nevin began his post-game press conference Tuesday to discuss Scully.

Nevin said one of his fondest memories was hearing Scully say his name on a show three years into his major league career.

“It felt like, ‘Wow,'” Nevin said, “‘I’m in the big leagues.’ ”

Angels slugger Mike Trout took the time to recognize Scully before Wednesday’s game.

“It was an honor to go out there and have the opportunity to play at Dodger Stadium where he announces me on the plate and broadcasts the game,” Trout said.

Trout first met Scully in the early years of his major league career. Former Angels manager Mike Scioscia took him to a media room where Scully was.

Trout couldn’t remember the details of their conversation, but said it was a “pretty special moment for me just because I could sit down and talk to him and just understand how important his contribution to the game was. Just the joy he brought.”

Trout added, “He meant a lot to everyone.”

https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2022-08-03/vin-scully-dodgers-angels-inspiration Vin Scully’s work motivated many in the Angels organization

Emma Bowman

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